Former Glee actor Mark Salling has been found dead at the age of 35. Law enforcement have confirmed that the star's body was found at the Los Angeles River in Sunland. The actor's attorney Michael J. Proctor released a statement confirming the news: "I can confirm that Mark Salling passed away early this morning. Mark was a gentle and loving person, a person of great creativity, who was doing his best to atone for some serious mistakes and errors of judgment. He is survived by his mother and father, and his brother. The Salling family appreciates the support they have been receiving and asks for their privacy to be respected," he said.
The news comes just five months after Mark pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography. He was arrested back in December 2015 after his ex-girlfriend reported him to the police. According to investigators, the Glee actor had a laptop, hard drive and USB stick containing thousands of illegal images. Mark was awaiting sentencing, which was due to take place in March and was expected to get four to seven years in prison as part of a plea deal.
The star was also banned from having any contact with anyone under the age of 18, and was not allowed within 100 feet of any schools, parks, public swimming pools, youth centres, playgrounds or arcades at any time. He also was required to pay $50,000 to each victim seeking restitution. The 35-year-old, who is best known for his role as Puck in Glee, previously faced up to 20 years in prison before accepting the plea deal. According to the court documents, Mark's statement read: "I am pleading guilty because I am guilty of the charges and wish to take advantage of the promises set forth in this agreement, and not for any other reason."
Sky News reported that the plea deal read: "Beginning in at least April 2015, and continuing to at least December 2015, [the] defendant used the Internet from his home in Los Angeles.... to download thousands of images of child pornography. [The] defendant attempted to conceal his activity using software that masked his IP address. However, on at least two occasions in 2015, [the] defendant showed his child pornography to an adult woman in the context of their sexual relationship. This was ultimately reported to law enforcement."